Podcasts

The Imagination Desk

In this occasional audio series, we chat with artists, scholars, scientists, and technologists about what inspires them and how they define and use imagination in their work. You can follow and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, RadioPublic, and Libsyn.

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Griots and Galaxies

The Center for Science and the Imagination is proud to present the new podcast Griots & Galaxies! This is a ten episode series hosted by Jenna Hanchey, Chinelo Onwualu, and Yvette Lisa Ndlovu that explores the work of ten African speculative fiction authors and imagining new futures for the continent.

In this episode of Griots & Galaxies, Jenna sits down with award-winning singer/songwriter and author Mohale Mashigo. In this conversation, Mohale shares her experiences in multimedia storytelling, and questions if aliens are truly as scary as Weste...

In this episode of Griots & Galaxies, Chinelo and Yvette sit down with critically-acclaimed author Tobi Ogundiran. In this conversation, Tobi takes us into horror and haunting, talking about how fairytales reveal what different societies fear–and lo...

In this conversation, Ayodele talks to us about African metaphysics and the importance of queer and gender-expansive characters to resisting colonization. 

In this conversation, Temi talks to us about neuroscience, corporate control, and how futures of AI technologies relate to histories of racism and colonialism.

In this conversation, Shingai talks to us about building community across the African diaspora, and challenges us to consider that taking African knowledges seriously means rethinking time itself.

In this special episode of Griots & Galaxies, Yvette interviews her cohost, editor and author Chinelo Onwualu. Chinelo shares with us her experiences as cofounder of Omenana and a forerunner in African speculative fiction...

In this conversation, Tlotlo talks with us about queerness, the dead, and how African surrealist stories illuminate the politics of African urban landscapes.

In this conversation, Suyi talks to us about godpunk, Stranger Things, and how to support African and other marginalized writers...

In this conversation, Kemi takes us to galaxies far, far away, reimagining the hero’s journey through African-centered space opera. 

In this conversation, Wole speaks about gods going on heists and how technologies hold the potential to bring us together in alternative histories and imagined futures.  


  This episode of The Imagination Desk features Michael G. Bennett, a lawyer and legal scholar, scholar of science, technology and society, visual artist, and higher education leader. In this chat, we discuss different ways that artists use imagination...

In this episode of The Imagination Desk, we sit down with science fiction and fantasy author Christopher Rowe to have a conversation about the relationship between imagination and faith, and how imagination influences our view of the universe.    Chris...

In this episode of The Imagination Desk, we sit down with cultural producer, performer, and inclusion expert Claudia Alick. In this conversation, Claudia speaks about Black imagination and futures, and shares her perspectives on ways to create safer an...

This episode of Imagination Desk features Fabrice Guerrier. In this conversation, Fabrice discusses how he uses imagination, and how imagination can be used to create better social futures.

This episode of the Imagination Desk features Laura Tohe, poet laureate of the Navajo Nation for 2015-2019, discussing how imagination informs her work and how it is used in both the poetry community and Indigenous communities. 

This episode of Imagination Desk features Corey Pressman. In this conversation, Corey discusses what applied imagination means to him, his work, and the future.

This episode of Imagination Desk features Lisa Kay Solomon. In this conversation, Lisa discusses different applications of design thinking and futures thinking, and incorporating creativity and imagination into interdisciplinary fields and everyday life.


Katie Bouman is an assistant professor of computing and mathematical sciences, electrical engineering, and astronomy at Caltech in Pasadena, California. In this episode, we talk about scientific collaboration, imagination, and Katie’s work on the Event...

Regina Kanyu Wang is a science fiction writer, researcher, and critic from Shanghai. She is now based at the University of Oslo, where she is part of the CoFUTURES project. In this conversation, we talk about the Chinese science fiction scene, its fan ...

Moya Bailey is a Black queer feminist scholar, writer, and activist. She is the co-author of #HashtagActivism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice and has a new book Misogynoir Transformed: Black Women’s Digital Resistance coming out May 2021. In this ...

Troy L. Wiggins is a writer and editor with a focus on Black speculative fiction and social justice.  In this episode of The Imagination Desk, we chat with Troy about power of speculative art as a tool for Black people around the world to reckon with t...

Ytasha Womack is an award-winning author, filmmaker, independent scholar, and dance therapist. She is a leading expert on Afrofuturism, and on the imagination and its applications. In this conversation ...


This episode of The Imagination Desk features Jonathan Alexander. Jonathan is Professor of English and Informatics at The University of California, Irvine and author of books such as Writing Youth: Young Adult Fiction as Literacy Sponsorship (2016) and...

This episode of The Imagination Desk features the band YACHT or Young Americans Challenging High Technology. We spoke with them about their new album Chain Tripping and it's use of machine learning.

This episode of The Imagination Desk features science fiction heavy-weight Paolo Bacigalupi, author of The Water Knife and Shipbreaker. We caught up with him in this bonus episode to discuss the changes in his writing process as well as his latest proj...

This episode of The Imagination Desk features Maureen McHugh. Maureen is an author and narrative designer who has worked on some of the biggest transmedia stories and alternate reality games (ARGs) in the history of the medium including The Beast for S...

This episode of The Imagination Desk features Matt Derby. Matt is a writer and designer who works on innovative media projects where these two disciplines meet. Matt is a designer at the game studio Harmonix, the co-writer of the serialized fiction pod...

Our first interview for The Imagination Desk features Anne Cofell Saunders. Anne is an award-winning TV writer and producer, who has worked on some of the most popular genre shows of the past decade including Battlestar Galactica, Chuck, Smallville, an...


Imagining Intelligence

Science fiction has long speculated about thinking machines and engineered beings. Now, with artificial intelligence becoming ubiquitous, let’s learn from these stories to navigate towards a future we want.
In this series, futurist Brian David Johnson talks with science fiction authors, researchers, technologists, activists, and policy makers to explore the human dimensions of machine intelligence. Subscribe on Libsyn.

In this episode of the Imagination Desk, we sat down with ASU futurist in residence Brian David Johnson. In this chat, we talk with Brian about his work on artificial intelligence and introduce his new podcast called Sci-Fi House Presents Imagining Int...

Notes for the Podcast

In this episode, Brian David Johnson gathers science fiction authors, researchers, technologists, and activists at the annual SXSW conference to explore the human dimensions of machine intelligence. Guests: - Tiffany Li https://tiffanyli.com/ - Saayeli...

Notes for the Podcast

In this episode, Brian David Johnson gathers Kade Crockford, Eliot Peper, Tim O'Reilly, and Malka Older at the annual SXSW conference to discuss what sci-fi can teach us when it comes to how we think of AI today and how it can shape the future.  Guests...

Notes for the Podcast

In this episode, Brian David Johnson talks with guests about the future of AI and what we should be optimizing for. Guests: Douglas Rushkoff (@rushkoff) August Cole (@august_cole) Chris Noessl (@chrisnoessel) Alida Draudt https://www.alidadraudt.com/ L...

Notes for the podcast

In this episode, Brian David Johnson talks with guests about their favorite AI's and non-typical AI's.  Guests: Laura Moy (@lauramoy) Rashida Richardson https://www.rashidarichardson.com Tim Fernholz (@TimFernholz_ Alida Draudt https://www.alidadraudt....

Notes for the podcast

In this season finale BDJ talks with guests about the shortcomings of AI, the perils of deploying it too early, and what gives them hope for the future of AI.  Guests: Cory Doctorow (@doctorow) Kade Crockford (@onekade) August Cole (@august_cole) Ellio...